ONE YEAR AGO, when I turned 70, my column noted that milestone and it struck a chord with many readers, including Warren Hite and Del Keup, who sent me emails featuring essays titled “A Winter Friend” and “God’s Plan for the Aged.” They have been passed down and around all over the country.

As we end the year with meaningful holidays, they remind us of family, friends and how precious time is in our journey here on Earth and then, it is winter. You realize time has a way of moving quickly and catching you unaware of the passing years.

It seems just yesterday that we were young, just married and embarking on our new life with our mates. Yet in a way, it seems like eons ago and we wonder where all the years went. We know we lived them all. We have glimpses of how it was back then, and of all our hopes and dreams.

But here it is, the winter of our life and it catches us by surprise. How did we get here so fast? Where did the years and our youth go? We remember well seeing older people through the years and thinking that those older people were years away from us, and that winter was so far off that we could not fathom it or imagine fully what it would be like.

But here it is, and our friends are retired and getting gray. They move slower and we see an older person now. Some are in better and some worse shape than us, but we see the great change; not like the ones that we remember who were young and vibrant.

But like us, their age is beginning to show, and we are now those older folks that we used to see and never thought we’d be. Now, we enter into this new season of our life unprepared for all the aches and pains, and the loss of strength and ability to go and do things that we wish we had done, but never did.

But at least we know that though the winter has come and we’re not sure how long it will last, we know that when it’s over, on this Earth, it’s not over. A new adventure will begin.

Yes, we have regrets. There are things we wish we hadn’t done, things we should have done, but indeed, there are many things we’re happy to have done; it’s all in a lifetime.

So if you’re not in your winter yet, let us remind you, that it will be here faster than you think. Whatever you would like to accomplish in your life, do it quickly. Don’t put things off too long. Life goes by quickly. Do what you can today as you can never be sure whether this is your winter or not.

You have no promise that you will see all the seasons of your life. Live for today. Say all the things that you want your loved ones to remember, and hope that they appreciate and love you for all the things that you have done for them in all the years past.

Life is a gift to you. The way you live your life is your gift to those who come after. Make it a fantastic one.

* * *

MOST SENIORS never get enough exercise so God decreed that seniors become forgetful and that’s why they must search for their glasses, keys and other things, thus doing more walking.

God saw there was another need. He made seniors lose coordination so they would drop things, requiring them to bend, reach and stretch.

Then, God considered the function of bladders and decided seniors would have additional calls of nature, requiring more trips to the bathroom, thus providing more exercise.

So if you find as you age, you are getting up and down more, remember it’s God’s will. It is all in your best interest even though you mutter under your breath. These are all God’s plan for the aged.